Either You Have It, Or You Don’t

Newsweek magazine releases the Third Annual Hottest Rabbi list and the Jewish Funders Network’s Mark Charendoff comes in number 3!

Is Your Rabbi Hot or Not?

Once is lucky. twice is nice. three times – well, anyone can tell you that’s a tradition. It is a great pleasure, then, to unveil the third annual installment of what we at NEWSWEEK fondly call the “hot rabbis list.” Created, maintained and revised by three Jewish media tycoons…the list ranks the 50 most influential rabbis in America based on an unscientific algorithm. Proximity to powerful people and opinion leaders, visibility in national media, size of congregation and good works all count.

Also making news this Sunday morning, from The New York Times:

Israeli Nonprofits, Shaken by Madoff Scandal, Regroup

The Madoff scheme’s collapse has forced educational institutions and organizations that aid the sick and the needy to reassess their investment strategies, and Israel, which depends heavily on the nonprofit sector to provide such services, has been forced once again to confront its dependence on American donors’ largess.

…Some Israeli philanthropy experts say the crisis, compounded by the recession, could force the large and unwieldy array of nonprofit groups to streamline and consolidate. Others think it could help spur a redefinition of Israel’s financial relationship with the Jewish diaspora, which, since well before the establishment of the state in 1948, has been based largely on Jewish giving and Israeli taking.

“Everything could change,” said Hillel Schmid, director of the Center for the Study of Philanthropy in Israel at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, noting that young American Jews in any case identified less with Israel than their parents and grandparents did. “The crisis is also an opportunity to rethink.”

from The Jerusalem Post:

UJC budget plan may squeeze charities

Facing a deepening US recession, the umbrella organization of Jewish communities throughout North America is considering a budget proposal that would bolster domestic operations at the expense of programs in Israel and throughout the world.

But officials at the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Joint Distribution Committee – the two main bodies responsible for channeling American Jewish charitable donations to overseas projects – told The Jerusalem Post the UJC leadership, under pressure from individual federations to cut dues fees, is recommending that another $7.5m. budgeted for overseas projects be made discretionary.

That could mean sharp cuts at both JAFI and JDC if federations decide not to cough up the extra dollars.

“How will federations explain to donors that funds allocated for overseas needs – such as feeding the hungry or aliya to Israel – are now used to balance the budget of the National Agency?” asked JDC heads Irving Smokler and Steven Schwager in a letter sent Thursday to the UJC.